Elizabeth Warren Announces Her Plan to Stop the Financialization of the US Economy.

You can read her ideas and plans here. Key quote: Here’s the problem with the belief that helping Wall Street always helps the economy: it isn’t true. In recent decades, Wall Street has grown bigger and financial sector profits have gone from 10% to 25% of total corporate profits, but everyone else in America has lived through a generation of stagnant wages and sluggish economic growth. Even today, big banks are making record profits and handing out huge bonuses as average wages barely budge. The truth is that Washington has it backwards. For a long time now, Wall Street’s success hasn’t helped the broader economy — it’s come at …

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CEOs Make How Much More Than Their Workers?

The AFL-CIO Paywatch program keeps an eye on the executive compensation figures public corporations are required to report thanks to the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. That’s information companies didn’t want to report, and a closer look shows why. Read it here. A few takeaways: In the past 10 years, CEOs have seen their compensation increased by $5,200,000 each. In those same 10 years, employees have seen their compensation increase by $7,858. That’s a ratio of 662 to 1. After the big Trump tax cut in 2017, the top 10 companies in stock buybacks …

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Will the Democrats Abandon Lordstown to Trump?

Lordstown is the poster child for modern financialized capitalism and runaway inequality By Les Leopold The vacant Lordstown General Motors facility is a frightening sight—6.2 million square feet of modern industrial might spread over 900 acres doing absolutely nothing except depressing the regional economy and the spirits of northeast Ohio. Just a few months ago it produced the Chevy Cruze and provided thousands of good paying industrial jobs with excellent benefits. Now it’s gone, and unless the Democrats have something meaningful to say about it, they too may be gone. Lordstown is the poster child for modern financialized capitalism and …

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America’s Biggest Lie: We Can’t Afford Medicare for All

Think about how much your income would go up if you didn’t have to pay for healthcare at all. That would begin to close the gap between productivity and wages for the first time in a generation. By Les Leopold Pundits and politicians repeatedly warn us that the country cannot afford costly social services. They  caution about the perils of a rising national debt, the supposed near bankruptcy of Medicare and Social Security, and the need to sell public services to the highest bidder in order to save them.  We must tighten our belts sooner or later, they tell us, …

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What Swings the Swing Voter?

Today,  a similar common denominator unites every identity group with every economic populist: All have much to gain from policies that address rising inequality by Les Leopold According to conventional wisdom, the Democrats must appeal to middle-of-the-road swing voters in order to defeat Trump in 2020. Supposedly these voters want a moderate who “crosses the partisan divide,” “finds common ground with all classes and income groups,” “removes barriers to advancement,” “builds public/private partnerships,”  “works for the common good against all special interests,” “avoids the extremes of the right and the left,” and “shuns costly pie-in-the-sky programs.” Wrong. Mounting evidence suggests …

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Beware the Moderate Democrat

By Les Leopold He’s a “moderate.” Such a soothing political word. It conjures up a reasonable, considerate person who seeks the middle ground between ideological extremists: Works well with others, crosses the aisle to make good policy, knows how to win incremental change rather than issuing jarring proclamations that jump too far ahead of the electorate. A moderate is pragmatic, gets things done and doesn’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good. Oh, in these troubled times, aren’t such moderates desperately needed? Get ready to hear more and more of that from mainstream media pundits as the Democratic …

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A letter to the editor about an improved minumum wage.

The writer, Dorothy Krahn, cites Les Leopold’s Runaway Inequality while it makes the case why an improved minimum wage is an antidote for inequality. She says: “A minimum wage below survival levels creates a false economy, increasing our taxes due to the help the working poor need. Sadly, minimum-wage jobs are no longer the province of the young and uneducated. Have you gone into a fast-food establishment and noticed how many people at or near retirement age are working there?” Read the whole letter by clicking here.

Some Democratic Party leaders believe they have discovered a new winning formula. Les Leopold explains.

Some Democratic leaders think the party’s future success relies on suburbanites, women and minorities, and forget about the white working class. Wall Street Democrats love this. Les’s new article explains why, and why this is a problem that could be exploited by a savvier politician than our current president, to the detriment of us all. Read it here.

Oregon Needs A State Bank

A Runaway Inequality activist, Tim Cates, sent along an article from his local shopping paper, the Ashland Sneak Preview. In the April 2018 issue, the publisher, Curtis Hayden writes about reading Les Leopold’s book Runaway Inequality. Mr. Hayden does a great job of laying out the problem with wealth and income inequality, and settles on the creation of a public bank in Oregon as a good and doable first step. He called Tim Cates, who had already investigated some with the Oregon Secretary of State’s office. There are hurdles to get past, but they’re working on it. As Mr. Cates …

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